Juiced Riders ODK 2 E-Cargo Bike—Low and Lean.
Fresh from a week in the saddle of this powerful and unique E-cargo bike, I have all the details. This red beauty has a super long range and the ability to carry a massive load. Although it appears quite the same as last year’s model, the changes are many. I guess I need to point them out, as this bike looks very much like its predecessor.
I saw it downtown last year when it was still in the prototype stage. Tora, the designer, was putting it through the paces to make sure everything gelled. He asked me not to take any (spy) photos that day, but he gave me the rundown and let me check it out. As he rode off, I got a full promise to get one to ride when the time was right. A few months later I did point my camera to it at Interbike during its introduction. Now it’s available and as popular as ever.
I met-up with Tora at Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center in Little Italy, San Diego, to pick-up the bike. Gary at Ivan’s has sold many of the Juiced Riders, some to the local restaurants for pizza and sandwich deliveries. It is the perfect E-bike for them, but also good for so many other reasons. With a giant rack and a carrying capacity of 330 lbs, the possibilities are easy to see. The convenient low-frame and ease of riding are key features too.
This is a very powerful electric-assist bike with great hill-climbing and load carrying abilities. Now with 48 volts pulsing in its power system, the very large capacity battery adds 10% more range to its already long distance runs per battery charge. The brushless hub motor is now in the front to make way for the sealed 3-speed geared hub in the rear. I thought moving from 7-speeds to 3 might affect the rideablity, but it doesn’t. With an E-bike, sometimes the gearing or amount of gears is a non-issue.
The Juiced Riders ODK 2 continues to be a throttle only (no pedelec) controlled bike. A nifty cruise control is added and I found it handy and easy to use. In fact, I used it quite a bit, especially during low-speed cruising. It allows you to just hold the handgrip, but not the twist throttle. Because of the power of this E-bike, the throttle can feel a bit touchy at the lower speeds, but Tora is still working to make it smoother. I would think any fix he comes up with can be retro-fitted to today’s bike.
With the motor being in the front you might think it could affect the Juiced Riders hill-climbing prowess. Once again this is not the case. I noted a small amount of wheel-spin when starting out and on grass, but it never affected the stability or comfort I felt during any given ride. The really (really) steep hill near Gary’s shop has been a perfect place to test any E-bike’s power and feel in severe conditions. Last year’s bike took it fine and this one did too. No wheel-spin or fear of not making to the top ever reared its ugly head.
Another feature of this E-bike has transferred itself to the new model. That is the way all the electrical components are exposed, no wiring snaking through the frame is seen and it has easy to deal with connectors on every piece. I don’t expect it to have any problems, but if it does, you or the technician in charge of the repair will have the easiest of times bringing it back to perfection. I see this on very few electric-assist bikes and I applaud Tora for the insight to make things so accessible.
Another thing I like is the choice of three different colors. And too, the chance of flats has been dealt with better than any other E-bike I’ve had experience with. Shoed-up with E-bike specific tires, it’s the tubes that make most of the difference. Called 4X tubes I believe, they are so thick that they should never let a drop of air leak through their boundaries. Most E-bike riders don’t want to deal with flats, so this is a big, major plus for the people that buy and ride a Juiced Rider ODK 2.
I am not sure how I feel about the battery being bolted in place in the rack. Good is the fact that it can’t be easily removed (the one most expensive part on any modern E-bike). Plus it will never rattle or come loose. One thing that Tora did to make charging it easier on the bike was to put a very long cord on the charging unit. Overall, even though most E-bikes have a battery that can be slid off with the use of the key, the set-up on the ODK does make a lot of sense.
This a pretty heavy E-bike. One of the ways I evaluate the bikes I test is on how easily they pedal and ride with the power off or the battery removed. The Juiced Rider doesn’t fair all that well in this respect. Luckily it has a massive battery range and you would be hard pressed to run the battery all the way down on a ride. With the power-assist activated it rides great. It is normal to pedal any E-bike while you ride, but on this one, the motor is doing more to keep it moving than your leg power.
I also want to mention it comes with fenders, a great pannier bag, a bell and smoky see-through chain guard. The rear brake has been upgraded to a V-brake unit (big disc in front of course). A very stable center kick stand is optional (which can be mounted to complement the standard side stand). The center stand is needed for the pizza delivery people and anyone really loading down this bike. If you want to get a bike like this without the electric-assist system, it’s available.
I had a great time on the Juiced Rider. The big, cushy seat and the supple large cross-section tires make for a good ride. It has a nice up-right seating position. The handlebars sweep back quite a bit, but they are designed so they can easily be shortened. Up to about 6 inches can be trimmed from the ends to tailor the feel to your needs. The handgrips are of the type that are secured with an allen bolt, so removing those and the other pieces there is easy if you decide to cut off some of the length. Another great idea you don’t see on any other E-bikes.
Speaking of seeing, when I set-up this test ride with Tora, he asked me what color bike I would like. I figured red would really pop in the photos. I don’t know if it’s the color or the completely different look of this bike, but I noticed people everywhere were checking it out. Normally I like stealthy E-bikes and not standing out in a crowd. I have to admit, the attention I got was kind of fun.
Got a big load to carry? Juiced Riders. Turbo Bob.
“Bikes are not a transportation system, never have been and never will be. They’re toys.”—Jay Craycroft.
Check the Juiced Riders website for more details. FB too.
You can find Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center on FB and the web.
The article I did on version 1 of the Juiced Riders ODK.
The 4 videos I posted on and with this E-cargo bike.